Working in the parcel delivery industry means that Christmas (or peak as we call it) makes November/December really busy and a little stressful so I decided to grab the last opportunity I would have for some time off before Christmas day and use up a few of the day’s holiday I couldn’t take into the new year. Use them or lose them!
Matt did the same and he found a bargain mini break in Berlin. I had never been to Germany and Matt was keen to meet up with a friend that lives there so we booked it. Three days, two nights, a super quick tour, a Christmas market or two and a catch up with old friends.
The most obvious thing that comes to mind when thinking of Berlin is The Wall.
On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the aim of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border when they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War. (Source – History.com)
If you really want to feel, and think visit the Holocaust Museum and the memorial. We didn’t have time to visit the museum but it’s something I want to do when we go back, and we will be going back. It’s a fascinating City with a rich and emotional history, a public transport system that works perfectly and Christmas markets that will get even a humbug like me in the mood.